With the European Commission expected to publish its draft directive on fair minimum wages on 28 October, the ETUC has put together a range of documents and press releases that cover a wide range of arguments in favour of legislation on minimum wages and collective bargaining. The ETUC argues that initiatives to boost pay and strengthen collective bargaining are essential as part of the response to the pandemic and that it is crucial not to repeat the mistakes following the last crisis when collective bargaining was undermined in some countries as part of austerity measures.
ETUC sets out arguments on minimum wages and collective bargaining
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The ETUC has published the priorities for its Collective Bargaining and Wages Coordination Committee. These cover four main areas - (re)building and enhancing collective bargaining; pursuing upward wage and social convergence; combating in-work poverty, particularly through increasing wages for the lower paid; and increasing solidarity and reducing inequalities. The detailed policy document sets out how the ETUC will follow up on its Pay Rise campaign and includes provisions for a two-year project where the ETUC will aim to support initiatives at national level to boost sector-level bargaining
As the debate continues during the first phase consultation over the European Commission's proposals on fair minimum wages, the ETUC is highlighting the need for a major boost to legal minimum wages across Europe. It argues that in most of the 22 EU member states with a statutory national minimum wage it fails to meet even the minimal at risk-of-poverty wage threshold of 60% of the median wage. In 10 member states, the statutory minimum is 50% or less of the national median wage.
ETUC Executive Committee members have voted by a large majority in support of the Confederation's submission to the European Commission's second stage consultation on fair minimum wages. In the submission, the ETUC calls for a directive that sets a minimum level for national minimum wages across Europe and introduces measures to strengthen and promote collective bargaining. The document also underlines the importance of not introducing any provisions that might undermine industrial relations systems where collective bargaining is strong and where social partners do not support the introduction